This summer I am trying to make an effort to cook more and eat out less. I find that it has helped create more family time. Our kids are college aged and our summers are scattered with various events and obligations, but if Mum is making dinner, they come running. Usually it is not just our own kiddos either which is a TOTAL bonus! I bought a cheap little chalk board and decorated it with chalk markers (don’t judge, I’m not an artist..haha). On the board, I include the estimated menu for the week, a mystery/riddle, and a word of the week. The mystery and word make for great dinner conversation. I don’t give the answer/definition until Friday dinner. So far I have even stumped my husband who use to read the dictionary for fun! Below I will be posting my weekly dinners with recipes. I hope you enjoy and perhaps can carve out some time in your world to be with the ones that matter most.
Gnocchi in Thyme Brown Butter Sauce
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 pound russet potato
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup shaved Pecorino Romano
Heat the butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the thyme leaves. Set aside.
Pierce the potato with a fork and microwave until tender, turning once, about 9 to12 minutes. Cut the potato in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; discard the skin. Using a fork, mash the potato well. Mix in the salt and pepper. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the egg and discard the rest of the egg. Sift the flour over the potato mixture and knead just until blended.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a 1/2-inch-diameter rope (about 20 inches long). Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Roll a fork over each piece of dough to form grooves in the dough.
Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until they rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Continue cooking until the gnocchi are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the hot thyme-butter in the skillet. Toss to coat, top with Pecorino, and serve.
NOTE: If you want to skip making the gnocchi yourself, Trader Joe’s gnocchi is a great substitute!
The Beet Salad can be found on this blog already, just use the search bar.
Crock Pot BBQ Ribs
This is WAY to easy. Get some boneless beef ribs and freeze them. Before placing them in the crock pot, I rub them down with a dry rub. I use BUTT RUB from Allspice in the East Village but you can use any Memphis style rub. Get out your wonderful crock pot. What did we ever do with out this! Put a little BBQ sauce on the bottom, I use Big Daddy’s original recipe. Place the FROZEN ribs in the pot and cover with a few squirts of the BBQ sauce. Put the pot on low and let them cook all day (approx. 8-10 hours). Putting the ribs in frozen I find helps them maintain their moisture as they cook. If you don’t freeze the ribs, then shorten the cooking time to around 6 hours.
I served these lovely ribs with a baked potato, tomato/mozzarella salad, and the best corn on the cob.
THE Best Corn on the Cob
Trust me, I’m an Iowa Girl…I know these things
Fill a pot with water and add a stick of salted butter followed by a cup of whole milk. Bring to a rapid boil. Shuck and clean the ears of corn. Place corn in water mixture and turn to a low simmer for about nine minutes. Remove and enjoy!
Note: For a little sweetness, add a tablespoon of sugar to the water. YUM!
Shrimp and Papperdelle with Asparagus
1 pound pappardelle pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
2 small shallots, sliced
1 bunch asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta as directed on package. Put aside 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and sauté shrimp and shallots in olive oil until shallots are crisp tender. Add the asparagus and continue to cook 3 or 4 minutes. Add the butter, lemon zest, cooking liquid, and lemon juice. Simmer for about three minutes. Serve over pasta.
Curry Chicken and rice with Veggies
Again, an embarrassingly easy recipe. Take chicken breast and pound thin. Cut into bite size pieces. Cook in hot skillet coated with olive oil (about three to four minutes). Add a bottle of Trader Joes Red Curry sauce and let the flavors mingle for about four minutes. Cook up some wonderful Jasmine rice, a side of fresh veggies. and TJ’s naan bread. Easiest dinner I have made in a long time. The kiddo’s loved the TJ’s sauce and now it is my go to for an easy week night dinner.